New European laws come into effect today 13th December 2014 which require food packaging to “allow consumers to make informed choices and to make safe use of food”.
One result of these changes is the full origin of an ingredient will be given. In the case of oils, labels will show their vegetable origins.
For endangered species that live in the tropical belt, the identification of palm oil as an ingredient is a first step towards lobbying food manufacturers to convert to sustainable palm oil with transparent supply chains.
Palm oil plantations are destroying forest habitats at an alarming rate across the tropics. It is the most efficient and high yielding vegetable oil that appears in more than half of all food products and it is not going away. Sustainable, species focused agricultural methods are essential for the survival of not just tigers, but elephants, rhinos and orangutans.
From 13th December onwards we will begin to see these new labels as new products hit the suppermarket shelves however older longer life products will still carry the old details during the transition period.
More information about palm oil and its effect on biodiversity can be found on our facts pages.
The full EU directive can be read here.